Calgary loosens COVID-19 restrictions on public transit and people have concerns
Calgary is making some changes to seating restrictions on public transit and people aren't too thrilled.
Starting Monday, buses and trains will be returning to their full capacity, meaning riders will not have to sit or stand apart from one another.
Starting Aug. 17, we are removing seating restrictions on our buses and CTrains and returning to full seated capacity. The face coverings bylaw will help keep customers safe when they can’t maintain distance between each other. Info: https://t.co/SQD98CLXn2 pic.twitter.com/Ty8eaqcRGE— Calgary Transit (@calgarytransit) August 12, 2020
While face coverings are still required while inside public vehicles, Calgarians have taken to social media to share photos and videos of people not wearing a mask while riding the bus.
This is what wearing a mask is for some. pic.twitter.com/meGMKkZUVC— Mayor_of_4thST (@JdheatonMr) August 12, 2020
"Ridiculous. There was a woman three feet away from me without a mask," one person wrote on Twitter. "I cannot judge her health but she was talking and laughing moistly in my direction on her cell phone for the whole 45 minutes."
With riders now being allowed to sit side-by-side, people are also expressing their safety concerns and are calling on bus drivers and transit officials to better enforce the mask bylaw.
I was just starting to feel safe on transit when the capacity was low and masks were/are mandatory! Especially on a bus! And now i am very concerned once again as i do not feel safe as youre NOT prompting social distancing when that is just as important even when wearing a mask!!— Kira Fowell (@KiraArtist) August 13, 2020
"Not a good idea. Your drivers on both trains and buses aren't even wearing masks or telling people they need one. Masks aren't 'required' as your signs say. They're just heavily hinted at," another person tweeted.
Others have even pointed out that some drivers are not properly wearing a mask either.
So many on my buses today not wearing masks at all, even more only covering mouth. Even my driver yesterday only had his mouth covered. I wasn’t comfortable today, will be far less so when maskless can surround me and sit snug against me.— Amanda F (@MandaF23) August 13, 2020
In an effort to keep riders safe, Calgary Transit announced on their website a touchless payment system, updated cleaning protocols, and increased peace officer patrolling.
Freshdaily has reached out to Calgary Transit for comment.
A mandatory mask bylaw came into effect on Aug. 1 in Calgary that requires people to wear a face covering while inside public places and public vehicles. Prior to Monday, buses and trains in the city had some seats blocked off to encourage social distancing.
The city has previously said that ridership has been very low due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and as a result, they are expecting a financial decline of $105 million by the end of the year.
Back in May, 430 jobs and 25 bus routes were cut.
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